Fame as the forgotten philosopher: Meditations on the headstone of Adam Ferguson

Philosophy 77 (1):109-114 (2002)
An ill-informed reading of Adam Ferguson 's epitaph has given me an idea for securing posthumous recognition. Consider philosophers in the year 2201 who read my epitaph: ‘Here lies Roy Sorensen who will be long remembered for his paradoxes’. If these future scholars remember me, then well and good. If they do not remember me, my epitaph will appear to be rendered false by their failure to recall me. Suppose the poignancy of this self-defeat leads my epitaph to be widely repeated. I thereby acquire ignominy as the forgotten philosopher. But wait! Eventually someone will notice that no one can remember that Roy Sorensen is forgotten. For if someone did remember that Roy Sorensen is forgotten, then he would be forgotten—not remembered. After all, memory implies truth. Thus the self-defeating aspect of my epitaph is itself self-defeating! The happy ending is that my epitaph becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy by a curious kind of double-negation
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0031819102000086
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 31,334
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
15 ( #354,514 of 2,225,225 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #425,065 of 2,225,225 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature